I did two things I never do today. I left my car open at the gas station and I threw my cell phone on the seat. I walked into Loaf N Jug and I could see my car clearly from the counter. When I returned to my car I realized my phone was missing. I dumped the contents of my shoulder bag/purse on the seat, but no phone. I checked under the seats and I looked under the car. Nothing. I went back in the store and asked if anyone had seen it. Nope. I borrowed the store phone and called Steve – he was in the middle of a presentation at work, but he said he’d call my phone. It’s important to note I have Steve’s ringtone set to the most obnoxious one available. It’s loud and sounds just like a General Quarters Warning on a Navy ship or a fire alarm in a building. I don’t want to miss his calls.
I’d thrown away a soda water can and some old receipts on my way into the store. So I dug in the disgusting receptacle outdoors and even enlisted the help of one of the clerks who was taking a smoke break. No phone. I backed the car up very slowly in case it was under the car. Nothing there and then it was starting to rain buckets. I knew I had the phone in the car before I went into the store because I was responding to a message about dog care for Sabrina and Frank for our trip to Portland in November. I had no doubt it had been stolen and then I remembered that during my initial and frantic search, I saw a man with an iphone much like my own in his hands in front of the store. He had been looking intently at the screen. It was a long shot, but something about the way he was looking at the phone struck me as suspicious. However, on any other day it wouldn’t have been anything I’d pay attention to. He was long gone by the time I recalled the incident.
I got home and messaged Steve on FB. He and I both logged in to the FIND MY PHONE app and sure enough my phone was traveling up Colorado Highway 402 (lots of farms along this road) toward Loveland. Then it stopped around 14th and Taft. I’m pretty sure that Steve’s ringtone scared the heck out of the thief and he pitched it. No warning shows on the phone until you report the phone as lost. Steve said we’d find it later, but he had to finish his presentation.
Well, I tend to be on the tenacious side, so I printed a satellite version of the area where the phone was tracked and it turned out to be a tiny map, but I have no idea how to do a screen shot on my new hackintosh so it had to do. I got in the car and according to the map in hand, I was pretty sure the roofs of the buildings I was looking at were King Soopers and Chase Bank. I calculated it was on 14th just beyond King Soopers. The rain was really coming down at that point. My shoes, socks and pants were already soaked. I flagged down a guy on a bicycle and asked him to keep a look out for my phone. He looked at me with a bit of disbelief when I told him it had been stolen and it was “around here somewhere.” “How do you know that?”, he asked and I explained and presented the soggy map. “I don’t think you are on the right road – you need to be on Taft – I’m pretty sure that’s the old Agilent building right here………..” I was back in the car and zoomed through the thankfully open gates of the empty building’s driveway and parked in the huge lonely lot while taking note of the NO TRESPASSING – NO PARKING signs all around me.
My heart sank. There was a huge grassy hill I had to climb down and water was collecting everywhere. A tall black iron fence enclosed the huge campus. I walked the edge of the fence which ended at a deep ditch where water was now rushing through. Shit. I looked through the fence and up the ditch and decided I’d have better luck on the road looking down. I was so cold. Colorado rain is freezing and my sweatshirt, pants, shoes and socks were soaked through and my hair was dripping. I felt pretty pathetic. I walked down the hill and up the other in my slippery canvas shoes back to the car hoping I still had a pair of rain boots in the trunk. I may have missed the gym today, but I definitely was getting my cardio while my poor knees were grinding. Yes! The boots were in there along with two extra jackets – one with a hood! (you learn to keep extra clothing in your car when you live in Colorado – it’s all about layering)
I didn’t feel anymore hopeful, but I walked the guardrail carefully looking back and forth from the ditch to the street. Big trucks passed me throwing street water over me like a big “screw you” The gutter was gushing and if my phone was in the street it was underway like a tiny submarine and positively ruined. There were so many muddy holes and areas of tall grass – I was resigned to accepting my phone was gone forever. Damn. I went back and forth for about a quarter of a mile trying imagine the frustrated thief tossing it out the window. Did he have a good arm – good enough to hurl it into the small river below me? Did he throw it out the driver’s side? Then I still had a chance. Steve had no idea where I was and I could have easily slipped and slid down the ditch. I thought I should give it up – I was wearing my glasses and there wasn’t a dry spot on my clothing to wipe them.
So I did something I rarely do. I prayed. I don’t like praying for trivial things – I instantly think of all the people with bigger issues like starving children, victims of violence and well, you name it. I brought up the image of Jim Carey in his role as God bombarded with emails he simply couldn’t keep up with. Well, I did it anyway (keeping all those long suffering souls in mind.) Then I spotted it! My Puple otterbox case – my phone still inside it – and it was only halfway down the hill. I grabbed the tall grass and descended sideways when my shoulder bag/purse dumped its contents all over the muddy incline. I knew not to complain, even silently, because make-up is far cheaper to replace than an iphone. I thought of the 2 times I’d dumped my purse in that manner. Once in high school coming out of a class when my classmate made the snarky remark “Well, look, Mary – your face is all over the floor”………….I deserved that and thanks to FB, we’ve reconnected and I’ve made amends for the misdeeds that allowed her that remark. The other time was coming out of the oral surgeon’s office after getting 4 wisdom teeth removed. I was still out of it and sat down in the middle of the waiting room and cried. All this was going through my head while I picked up my muddy mascara, eyeliner and lipstick while thinking “Look Mary – your face is all over the ditch.” I leaned carefully into the hill and retrieved my phone. Victory! I still had a long, wet and cold walk back to my car which I hoped hadn’t been towed. Happily, it was still alone in the lot and the gates open.
Steve was surprised to see my phone on the move again as he tracked it from the office. He was actually disappointed he missed his chance to use the FIND YOUR PHONE app to its fullest. You see, using his phone we could have tracked it down to within ten feet and then turned on a signal. I wasn’t aware of this feature, but I was damned if I wasn’t going to try and find it before the rain ruined it. There would be a lot more rain before he made it home. (Actually, I could have waited – he got home right after I did)
When I got home I threw my wet clothes in the washer and took a long hot bath. Interestingly enough, that snarky classmate from high school had messaged me that she may have a lead on a dog sitter. Probably right around the time I was picking my makeup off the muddy hill. Life, eh?